Traveling physician provides old-school service, modern medicine
Shame that physicians have to rely on a "boutique" practice in order to do house calls.

The business of medicine
"The dispute will give outsiders a glimpse into the business of health care, where maximizing revenue and minimizing cost take precedence, even at nonprofit institutions such as Mease."

Conflicted medicine: Doctors defend ties to drugs they endorse
Detailing the conflict-of-interest issues in the new lipid guidelines.

Canadian Vaccine Policy May Become U.S. Model
"When it comes to getting flu shots for its citizens, the United States
may someday soon look like a giant version of Canada, its national-health-plan neighbor to the north."

Smoking and other poor health choices
In response to what was written last week on hospitals collecting debt, a physician writes about the lack of patients' personal responsibility.

Health care at crossroads, not a crisis
"The key is remembering that we're at a crossroads, not a crisis. Our challenge is to pick the right road -- ideally the one that keeps up the pace of progress without sacrificing anyone along the way."

Op-Ed Contributor: The Health of Nations
"Preventing a flu epidemic that could kill thousands is not nearly as profitable as making pills for something like erectile dysfunction, a decidedly non-fatal condition. Viagra, for example, brings in more than $1 billion a year for its maker, Pfizer. The profits to be made from selling flu vaccine are measly in comparison."

A nice point in a missive detailing our health ...

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Five hospitals ignore C. Difficile guidelines
"At least five Montreal hospitals are flouting infection-control
guidelines by sticking patients sick with deadly C. difficile diarrhea
in rooms with uninfected patients."

C. Difficile diarrhea should be able to be controlled with appropriate isolation techniques. The reason that this is not happening is due to staffing cuts, which is simply unacceptable in this day and age.

Does surfing for health information do you more harm than good?
". . . people who use their computer to find out more about their condition end up in worse health than those who do not."

I certainly support increased information flow and patient empowerment. However, there is a reason why physicians endure 7 or more years of medical school and residency. It is how the information ...

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European Health Agencies, Using Many Vaccine Suppliers, Are Facing No Shortages
We can learn something from abroad.

Hype

As a consumer, you have to see through the hype that the drug companies put out. Medrants points to an excellent article explaining why drug prices are so high - and the role of pharmaceutical hype. One section deals with the Nexium story:

Nexium has become a symbol of everything that is wrong with the pharmaceutical industry. The big drug companies justify the high prices they ...

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Should we help patients hire prostitutes?
What an interesting story describing a complicated ethical and bureaucratic ordeal.

Consumer organisations criticise influence of drug companies
The BMJ with some tough words for the pharmaceutical industry. Some statements I agree with:

These can often be for quite trivial conditions, such as toenail infections, and they encourage patients to go and see their general practitioner, often in quite strong terms," said Mr Vidler. "At the same time the industry will be advertising drugs to these GPs, and our ...

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Embryonic Stem-Cell Research - The Case for Federal Funding
The New England Journal of Medicine makes its case.

The Confusion of The Press
"The press is often in over it's head when reporting on medicine." Completely true. This is where the power of medical blogs can shine - by correcting and interpreting the studies often misreported by the lay press.

Private Doctors in Frantic Quest for Flu Vaccine
I know how they feel.

Special flu shot clinic set up in Vancouver this weekend for Americans
Good neighbors.

Vioxx, We Hardly Knew Ye
A rheumatologist reminisces about Vioxx.

Dr. Feelscared: Drug warriors put the fear of prosecution in physicians who dare to treat pain (via Overlawyered)
"The AAPS, along with the Pain Relief Network, has been vocal in denouncing the federal and state doctor prosecutions. The groupÂ’s Web site warns: 'If youÂ’re thinking about getting into pain management using opioids as appropriate: DONÂ’T. Forget what you learned in medical school -- drug agents now set medical standards.''"

No Flu Vaccine Shortage at U.S. Capitol
"While many elderly Americans are standing in long lines for flu shots, the vaccine is readily available for free to members of Congress and staff at the U.S. Capitol."

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